"About Roman Emperors" open dataset updated

The latest version is now online at the base URI: http://www.paregorios.org/resources/roman-emperors/. Major updates:

  • URIs for emperor profile docs (with links to coinage) on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website (courtesy Dan Pett)
  • URIs for emperors as coined by the nomisma.org project (courtesy Dan Pett)
  • More viaf.org IDs for emperors (courtesy Dan Pett)
  • More alternate names (courtesy Roko Rumora)
  • More detail and description of third-party resources in both the HTML and RDF
  • Slightly more readable HTML pages
  • Complete dump files now available in CSV, RDF+XML, and Turtle

"About Roman Emperors" linked dataset published

A few days ago I blogged about an open linked dataset about Roman Emperors. I've now more formally published the dataset online at http://www.paregorios.org/resources/roman-emperors/.

I'll be adding more features and data, and improving the dataset description in coming weeks. More information on how to contribute is also forthcoming (and I have a couple of early contributions by others to incorporate as soon as possible!).

I'll blog more here with the label romemplod whenever there's a significant update.

Roman Emperors as Linked Data

You can jump right to the roman-emperors github repository here. I repeat the README file here for the benefit of those who'd rather look before they leap:

This dataset uses the published dbpedia resource URIs for Roman Emperors (the persons themselves) as a starting point for making useful assertions about these individuals in the linked data space. The main goal is to align these URIs with any other key URIs (now or in the future) for the same persons and then to attribute these "same as" relationships with links to descriptive documents or other data that have not so far made it into the linked data graph (especially legacy web resources). Multiple names for the emperors are only incidental to the dataset; no attempt is being made to produce (in this dataset) a comprehensive set of alternate names.
It's still a work in progress, but I've made it available under the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License so anyone who's interested can pitch in and help, or make use of it freely.

Both RDF (Turtle) and CSV versions are included.

People from my dissertation in RDF

On the road to turning my dissertation into linked data I've minted URIs for, and produced basic RDF for, all of the historical individuals I dealt with examining boundary disputes internal to the early Roman empire.

I used foaf:Person, foaf:name, and bio:olb (the latter from the BIO Vocabulary for Biographical Information, developed by Ian Davis and David Galbraith). The Roman emperors who appear in my list have been aligned to dbpedia resources using owl:sameAs. I intend to do more alignments in future to resources like dbpedia and viaf.org.

Here's the XML I started from (part of an Open Document Text format file I converted from Word), and the XSLT I used to produce the Turtle RDF, which was then cleaned up by hand.

More to come.

How to get a born-for-print bibliography into RDF

It began life as a Word file for a printed-on-paper dissertation. I want it to become linked data so that I can hook up other linked data I'm putting online. Here's a quick-and-basic way that involves no programming, writing of scripts, or other computational heroics on my part:

  • Open the Word file in Libre Office and save it (download copy here). The basic structure puts one citation per paragraph, with a tab dividing a short title from a full citation. E.g.:  
Ager 1989    S. Ager, “Judicial Imperialism: the Case of Melitaia,” AHB 3.5 (1989) 107-114.
Ager 1996 S. Ager, Interstate arbitrations in the Greek world, 337-90 B.C., Berkeley, 1996.
Aichinger 1982 A. Aichinger, “Grenzziehung durch kaiserliche Sonderbeauftragte in den römischen provinzen,” ZPE 48 (1982) 193-204.
  •  Rip out everything (like title, introductory materials, etc.) that's not the list of short titles and citations (download copy here).
  • "Save as ..." -> File Type = "text encoded" (select the "edit filter settings" checkbox) -> "Save" -> (in filter options, make sure "Unicode (UTF-8)" is the chosen encoding) -> "OK" (see here).
  • Close the text file in Libre Office.
  • Open a new spreadsheet file in Libre Office (don't use Excel for this; it will make a mess of your Unicode text. Ditto exporting to CSV from Word)
  • "File" -> "Open..." -> File Type = "Text CSV (*.csv, *.txt)" -> "Open"
  • In the "Text Import" dialog box, make sure the character set is "Unicode (UTF-8)" and change the "separator" from "comma" to "tab"
  • Click "OK"
  • Make sure the spreadsheet gives you two columns (one for the short title and the other for the full citation).
  • Add an empty top row and in the first cell type "shortTitle" (no quotes). Enter the string "shortDescription" in the second cell (no quotes). Save the file (still in the tab-delimited format). (see here).
  • If you have python installed on your computer, download the tab2n3.py script from the W3C website and save it into the same folder as your data.
  • Open a command window or terminal and navigate to the folder where your data is.
  • Type the following:
$ python tab2n3.py -id -schema -namespace http://purl.org/ontology/bibo/ < BoundaryDisputesJustDataHeadings.csv > BoundaryDisputes.ttl
  • Open the resulting ttl file in the text-editor of your choice. You've got RDF! (see here).